I'm always amazed when people tell me they use colored highlighters, story boards, spreadsheets, and other tools to help them write and/or edit the manuscript. I don't mean that in a disparaging sense. Believe me when I say that -- 'amazed'. I would have no idea how to go about doing that.
No, I take that back. I'd know how to do it. But then it wouldn't be fun any more. I'm all about the fun.
Writing for me is fun. I have a story in my head, some killer dialog that is aching to be put into somebody's mouth, and usually one or two characters who just jump off the page. That's enough to get me going.
When I finish, I do read throughs, usually three -- once for consistency, once for pace, and once for nitty gritty craft crap (adverbs, too many conjunctions, etc.)
Then I let it sit, usually for a month or two and move on to the next project. When I'm pretty sure I've forgotten the plot details, I go back and read it again with a fresh, objective eye. I'm one of my own worst critics and I'm never 100% sure that it's Okay To Go.
But I send it anyway -- to my critique partner, to a contest, to an editor -- I throw it out there.
Then I forget about it. Literally. Once it is out the door, it's off my mind and I'm on to the next project.
Until I get that phone call that it finaled, or (please!) that it caught enough attention to request a full, or I get comments back.
See, it's all about the fun. It's gotta be fun, otherwise I wouldn't sit at the computer/desk for hours at a time. The way I did last night, developing back story for characters in a new book. That back story won't see the light of day on a page, but now I know the characters and their personality and can sit down at the computer and write.
See you in a few weeks ....